Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The unwelcome gift: Marketing and cross-cultural differences

23.07.2009
Westerner consumers are more receptive to unexpected promotional gifts than their East Asian counterparts, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

People from diverse cultures react differently to the element of surprise, according to authors Ana Valenzuela (Baruch College), Barbara Mellers (University of California, Berkeley), and Judi Strebel (San Francisco State University). The research team explored different cultural responses to promotional gifts, such as gift cards, mugs, snacks, t-shirts, etc.

The authors conducted four studies in which participants received a gift as a token of appreciation for participating in a survey. Some of the participants knew about the gifts before participating, while others were surprised. Regardless of the gift, participants from the United States enjoyed the surprise more than participants in Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, and Hong Kong.

"Why does this phenomenon happen? For Westerners, an unexpected gift reinforces feelings of control over their environment. For East Asians, an unexpected gift indicates imbalance and prophesizes bad fortune," the authors write. "Our findings suggest that East Asians' experience of surprise is closely connected to their motivation to seek emotional balance."

The authors suggest that framing surprises as "good luck" or "good fortune" will enhance East Asians' enjoyment of a shifting environment. Their final experiment involved approaching bookstore patrons in California and Hong Kong and asking them to participate in a short survey. People who accepted were told they would be given a gift as a token of appreciation. Half of the participants entered the "Lucky Game" to win the gift. The other half received the gift without participating in the game. East Asians' enjoyment of the gift increased when the gift was attributable to luck.

"Marketers often use pleasant surprises to influence consumers' brand evaluations and purchase decisions," the authors write. "Unexpected marketing activities must accommodate cross-cultural differences."

Ana Valenzuela, Barbara Mellers, and Judi Strebel. "Pleasurable Surprises: A Cross-Cultural Study of Consumer Responses to Unexpected Incentives." Journal of Consumer Research: February 2010 (published online July 15, 2009).

Mary-Ann Twist | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wisc.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands
27.12.2016 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>